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Sylvian

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About Sylvian

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  1. Sylvian

    Understanding Medicare

    When we arrive I'm just going to walk into the first Medicare office I see, sit down, and cry... until they sort everything out
  2. Sylvian

    Understanding Medicare

    OK great, thanks. My wife's employer did say she would be encouraged to apply for PR almost immediately, as she has a pretty unique skills set. So this all makes perfect sense. Ta. Incidentally, for anyone who wonders what the answer to my (deeply nerdy) question was... here it is: - the Lifetime Healthcare Loading only applies once you are a Permanent Resident, so you can forget it if you are on a 457 visa - however, if you earn enough, the Medicare loading does apply to anyone with a 457 visa. The only way to avoid it is to take out domestic hospital cover (it seems you can have it if you are non-resident) BUT you are also supposed to keep the OVHC cover. So in effect you have two policies doing the same thing - one to cover hospital charges to comply with the 457 visa requirements, and one to prevent the Medicare extra levy becoming payable. At least that's what the experts tell me... Fortunately (or unfortunately, whichever way you look at it) the MLS loading is very unlikely to ever be relevant to us, so perhaps I should stop worrying about it now S
  3. Sylvian

    Understanding Medicare

    Thanks Nick. The only thing I'm struggling with is the period 12-24 months after you arrive. During this time the Lifetime Health Cover loading comes into force if you are over 30, and so does the Medicare Levy Surcharge - if you are lucky enough to earn enough. Yet the only hospital policy you are allowed to have if you are a temporary resident (Overseas Voluntary Health Cover) doesn't cancel either of these things out. You need a 'domestic' hospital policy to get rid of the LHC and MLS charges - but you can only have one of these if you a permanent resident, and permanent recency normally takes two years to obtain! So, between 12 and 24 months there are two potential loadings you cannot possibly avoid... unless you somehow obtain permanent residency by the end of the first 12 months. Hence my confusion. Well, some of it anyway. S
  4. Sylvian

    Would you still emigrate?

    OK, not the thread to be reading just before you apply for your visa! I'm off to look at pictures of the sea-side. S
  5. Sylvian

    Understanding Medicare

    Thanks guys. The Lifetime loading is very confusing - lots of government sites mention that it does apply to part-time residents and that the normal overseas healthcare policies do not get you out of paying it. But you're right... the thing to do is take out what's essential for the visa and then sort it out with Medicare when we arrive. Frank is part of GMHBA Medical Insurance, which apparently has its roots in a hospital scheme started by cement factory works in Geelong in 1927. So there you go! They do have some pretty good reviews online (certainly compared to some of the better known providers, including BUPA). S
  6. Sylvian

    Understanding Medicare

    Hmmm... very difficult to get a definitive answer to some of the trickier aspects of all this Medicare malarky, though I have to say the people at 'Frank' have been doing a pretty good job of helping me through it (even if they are keen to get me to buy something!). The bit confusing me at the moment is the 'Lifetime Healthcare Loading'... ah heck, let's be honest, all of it still confuses me. As for 'Frank' - they seem to have good customer feedback compared to a lot of the private providers. Anyone ave experience with them, good or bad? S
  7. Oh wow! We promised her years ago she would get a chance to swim with dolphins before she was too old to really appreciate it (not that I think you can be too old... I loved it at 35!). Temptation Sailing has already been added to the Australia 'must do' folder. Thanks Rachel
  8. Kayaking... dolphins... Rachel, if my daughter reads this I will never, ever hear the end of it... short of telling her there are unicorns on the island you couldn't get her any more excited. If I see her booking her own flight later today I will know why. S
  9. Sylvian

    A quick hi from me!

    OK, well I think I understand Medicare - or at least how it relates to a 457 visa. Everything else is a mystery (don't talk to me about pensions), but Medicare is nailed. Well, it's D-Day. The final contract of employment has arrived and the employer has taken all the necessary steps to get the visa process up and running, so now it's all down to us... Wish us luck, we're going in! S
  10. Thanks Philly. I'll look into Iron Chef. I did in fact get a couple of cheaper quotes for shipping possessions yesterday, though they were from a company that seems to attract mixed reviews - Anglo Pacific. Anyone on the forum had any experience? For a medium sized container they appear to be £200-300 cheaper than the Movecube option. S
  11. Thanks Philly. The quote we got for our transporting car came as a bit of a shock - it totals around £2,000 for a shared container. And then there's the threat of Australian customs charging many hundreds of dollars to clean it, should there be a speck of mud from the UK. The insurance side of things is tricky as we have lots of paintings that are potentially expensive to replace, though don't have much commercial value (sorry, it's a bit complicated!). God knows what would happen if they were damaged and we had to claim... it would take years to sort out. Another complicated thing to add to my already endless list of complicated things. Quick, someone tell me that it'll all be worth it in the end!!! S
  12. Very useful info - as always! Quick update on costs, as of my enquiries today, for anyone who's beginning the process... The Seven Seas 'Movecube' option came to £919 approx. for a 3 cubic meter container (their 'medium' size), all the way up to £4,000 for a 20ft (1,100 cubic feet) container from Allied Pickfords. Both companies were very helpful on the phone, incidentally. We only intend moving small personal possessions so the cube seems a good idea. As for the insurance side of things - the figures quoted by Seven Seas and Pickfords seem a bit high to me, so I'm checking out the independent providers. S
  13. Sylvian

    Understanding Medicare

    Thanks again guys. Lots of stuff here... much of it I think I've finally got my head around, some of it new. It really is tricky to get a proper understanding of the level of cover you have to put in place before arrival, and then keep in place once you are in Oz (over and above any Medicare permitted under the 'reciprocal agreement' between the UK and Australia.). For instance all the government sites I've read say that you need 'Overseas Visitors Health Cover' - or what a lot of the insurers refer to a overseas 'Hospital Cover' - in place for the entire duration of your 457 visa, NOT just to get the visa itself: cancel this cover any time before you get permanent residency and the 457 visa can be withdrawn (the insurer notifies the Dpt. of Immigration that cover has been stopped). Yet lots of people from the UK say they cancelled all their private cover and relied solely on Medicare within weeks of arriving. PLUS it seems you then need to keep a certain level of cover in place even if you are granted a Permanent Residents visa, or you will have to pay the Lifetime Healthcare Loading (after 12 months) and, if you are lucky enough to be a high earner, the Medical Levy Surcharge. What's more this level of cover is not just basic 'Hospital Cover' (or OVHC) - it has to include lots of expensive 'Extras' to negate these two surcharges. Government web sites are quite forceful on this point. Then there's the rebate on private health care premiums - this only applies once you have Permanent Residency, so will not be relevant for us for at least two years... assuming that's the minimum period for getting a permanent visa, which isn't entirely clear either! Of course this stuff can make a big difference: I think we are looking at around AU$1800 per year if the OVHC policy is all you need, but nearer AU$6,000 if we need to include all the extra bits and pieces. Needless to say all the insurers I've contacted thus far insist that the 'extras' are, in fact, 'essentials'! Hmmm. S
  14. Sylvian

    Understanding Medicare

    Just when I though I might be starting to possibly get my head around Medicare... I stumble across something called the 'Lifetime Healthcare Loading'. Don't panic, I think to myself, it says new immigrants over 31 years of age have 12 months to take out a qualifying private plan and avoid this surcharge. But then it says healthcare packages taken out by temporary residents (as on a 457 visa) do NOT qualify for exemption under the Lifetime Healthcare Loading rules?! Blimey. I might just go down the pub...
  15. Sylvian

    Would you still emigrate?

    Here you go Blossom - some info from the 'Numbeo' comparison site, which is not exactly scientific but gives a fairly good idea of the state of play. Aside from basic groceries, Cambridge is more expensive. And if you include the cost of city centre housing then things go off the scale. Hopefully the formatting doesn't go too weird when I copy and paste their findings... [TABLE=class: table_indices_diff] [TR] [TH]Indices Difference[/TH] [TH][/TH] [/TR] [TR] [TD=colspan: 2, align: right]Consumer Prices in Cambridge are 2.32% higher than in Adelaide[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=colspan: 2, align: right]Consumer Prices Including Rent in Cambridge are 10.95% higher than in Adelaide[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=colspan: 2, align: right]Rent Prices in Cambridge are 31.28% higher than in Adelaide[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=colspan: 2, align: right]Restaurant Prices in Cambridge are 17.79% higher than in Adelaide[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=colspan: 2, align: right]Groceries Prices in Cambridge are 8.25% lower than in Adelaide[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=colspan: 2, align: right]Local Purchasing Power in Cambridge is 21.30% lower than in Adelaide[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE]
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